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In The News

MAY 11, 2011

How to Beat the Shrinking City Syndrome

Strategies for dealing with abandoned and blighted homes in a shrinking city are outlined in this article which outlines a recent, successful strategy in New Orleans involving an auction of foreclosed homes. The auction included about 100 vacant homes and over 1,000 people were in attendance to bid. Buyers included first-time homebuyers and local contractors as well as local residents looking for investment properties. Most of the properties were single-family homes and prices ranged from $5,000 to $175,000.

SOURCE: CitiWire.net, 4/29/11

MAY 11, 2011

Orange County, FL, to Spend $17M To Rebuild Troubled Apartments

Orange County, Florida, will address a troubled apartment complex through a $17 million redevelopment fund financed through a combination of nonprofit bonds and federal funding. Some units will be demolished, while others will be fully renovated. The apartment complex has suffered from chronic issues with robbery and assaults over the past two years, so strict residential guidelines will be implemented, including the number of people allowed per unit and a review of police records. In addition, the apartments will have security systems, and noise and loitering rules will be enforced.

SOURCE: WFTV, 4/29/11

MAY 11, 2011

Michigan City Gets $13.8 Million for Jobs, Homes

Highland Park is one of 12 cities in Michigan to receive a Neighborhood Stabilization grant in the next round in the amount of $13.8 million. Funds will be used to stabilize neighborhoods and eliminate blight through demolition and acquisition, rehab and resale of troubled homes. The rehabilitation projects will also include energy efficiencies and will focus on affordability and preserving historic aspects of the neighborhood. Read the full article.

SOURCE: The Michigan Citizen, 5/8/11

MAY 5, 2011

Appraisals: Still a Problem

This graph from the National Association of REALTORS® shows the effects that appraisals are having on sales contracts. Unexpected appraisal outcomes are causing delays, lower sales prices or cancellations 35% of the time.

SOURCE: Realtor.org, 4/29/11

MAY 5, 2011

City of San Bernardino Redevelopment Receives HUD Award

The HUD Spirit Award has been awarded to the Economic Development Agency of San Bernardino in recognition of Eastpointe Village, a neighborhood stabilization project. This award is given to a few exemplary NSP projects each year. The Eastpointe Village project was chosen because of its coordination efforts and resources that have improved the neighborhood’s safety and overall appearance over a short period of time. Crime rates as well as the number of foreclosures have dropped.

SOURCE: InlandEmpire.us, 4/25/11

MAY 5, 2011

Mill Metamorphosis: Sanford, Maine, Eyes New Life for Old Building

A 100-year-old vacant mill will become the site of a new mixed-use development project in Sanford, Maine, thanks to a $3.7 million revitalization grant through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The project will include commercial units on the ground level and 40 affordable housing units for seniors on the upper level. The project has sustainability goals and incorporates access to public transit options, affordable housing, employers and other services. The revitalization of the mill is expected to have positive effects on surrounding neighborhoods.

SOURCE: keepMEcurrent.com (Weekly Observer, Westbrook, ME), 4/26/11

MAY 5, 2011

Replay: The Power of Greenfield Economics

Greenfield economics — building up new territory as opposed to redeveloping old places — is explored in this story, along with the trend of population migrations from cities to suburbs. The benefits related to starting developments in new places are numerous; primarily, new developments don’t involve old and sometimes tumultuous histories.  However, the new eventually becomes the old, which planners must consider. Read the blog entry.

SOURCE: Urbanophile, Passionate About Cities blog, 4/15/11

APRIL 27, 2011

Fifth Street Partnership Works to Save Two Structures

A new partnership has formed to save two abandoned properties in Lynchburg, Virginia, from being demolished. Since demolition has been the answer for many abandoned structures in this area, local advocates are afraid that this practice will continue to destroy the community’s vitality and historical legacy. The partnership includes Fifth Street CDC, Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation, and the city’s Community Development Department. Partners will work out funding and logistical plans for stabilizing the buildings.

SOURCE: The (Lynchburg) News and Advance, 4/21/11

APRIL 27, 2011

Senate Report Lays Bare Mortgage Mess

Mortgage companies are again under fire in a U.S. Senate report that describes the events leading up to the 2008 mortgage meltdown. This article highlights the details collected through an investigation of financial institutions over the past couple of years that shows evidence of abuse. These investigations will likely end in settlements by Wall Street firms that sold mortgage-bond deals which essentially caused the financial crisis.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, 4/14/11

APRIL 27, 2011

Hundreds Attend Groundbreaking of $50 Million Project for Housing Metro Detroit’s Homeless

A local nonprofit has been raising funds for the past few years to renovate a historic vacant building in downtown Detroit. Once complete, the building will help stabilize homeless individuals by providing 155 one-bedroom apartments. The building will also offer addiction treatment options; mental-health counseling; case management; life skills training; a library; computer, art and music rooms; a fitness center; chapel; laundry facilities; roof gardens and more.

SOURCE: Mlive.com, 4/19/11

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